I've always played barefoot till about 4 years ago. I like to grab the chain of my hi-hat between my big toe and next toe-have thick calluses too, I still prefer playing barefoot but acquiesced to the need to wear shoes-which any will do. If I get nervous before a performance I will still take off my shoes to feel more comfortable. But if I'm not working-I'm barefoot anyways. My dogs can't breathe with them freakin' shoes on. LOL.